Gardiner flood

Gardiner is photographed on June 15.

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A boil advisory in Gardiner was lifted Wednesday morning after the Department of Environmental Quality deemed it safe for consumption.

The advisory was placed last week after flooding damaged the town’s water main. Briefly on Monday, the town was under a “do not consume” order, because boiling wasn’t enough to ensure its safety.

According to the Gardiner Park County Water District, bacteriological samples were taken on Monday. Results were “satisfactory.” Water can be used as normal.

Those using private wells should follow up with the Park City-County Health Department, at 406-222-4131. Wells submerged by flood water may not be safe to consume.

A boil order for Red Lodge and Fromberg was lifted on Tuesday.

Bill Berg, a Park County Commissioner, said the “green light” on Gardiner water was a great step forward as the town works to recover from the flooding that started nine days ago.

“I know it’s hard for everybody but it gets better every day and we need to keep focusing on that,” Berg said during a conference call with park officials and Gardiner residents and business owners on Wednesday.

On Wednesday the southern loop of Yellowstone National Park reopened to visitors, with an entry system in place to limit traffic. The west entrance at West Yellowstone, the east entrance at Cody, Wyoming, and the south entrance at Jackson, Wyoming, all opened Wednesday morning.

The north entrance at Gardiner and northeast entrance near Cooke City and Silver Gate are closed.

On the northern end of Yellowstone, where most of the flooding damage occurred, work to repair and improve the Old Gardiner Road, which would connect Gardiner to Mammoth Hot Springs, is in full swing, Superintendent Cam Sholly said during the meeting.

Construction crews are working to gravel the road now, and open it to one lane of traffic as an immediate short-term goal to connect the two towns for Mammoth employees, residents and essential services, Sholly said.

The longer-term goal is to widen the road to two lanes and pave it by the fall, Sholly said. Details are still being worked out but that could allow for some visitor traffic

“There’s a balance between emergency access that we need to create so we have connectivity between our communities, the park and Gardiner and making sure we create a safe road platform that can withstand, probably, traffic for at least three to five years until a permanent solution is built,” he said.

Most roads in Park County have reopened to traffic. U.S. Highway 89 South reopened to all traffic on Monday, but traffic heading toward Gardiner still needs to detour through East River Road from Emigrant as work continues on the damaged Point of Rocks Bridge on Highway 89.

Closures remain from 174 Cinnabar Basin Road to its intersection with Mol Heron Creek Road until June 27 as repair work begins; Highway 89 North Bridge is detoured through Old Clyde Park Road; and the Carbella Bridge — which washed away on June 13 — is detoured through Old Yellowstone Trail.

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Juliana Sukut can be reached at 582-2630 or

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